Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Taking Some Time Out {People that Matter}

I know I have been sooo busy making up my home for the Holidays, but in between all the hub-bub of the season, when I lay down to sleep at night, I think of what really matters. Of the people that matter in my life.
And one of them is visiting me this month.

I am speaking about a very important and influential woman in my life-my grandmother.
My grandmother Aurora (whom I was named after) is one of two people who helped to shape a little skinny girl's life. My grandma raised me part of the time while my mother worked when we still lived in Mexico. She taught me how to read and write at the age of four (the newspaper!!) because she did not go to school herself and did not want her granddaughter growing up to be a "useless woman" (her words).
When I lay awake at night I remember.

                                   {My birthday-Dress made by grandma}

I see us together-me combing her dark hair, putting curlers in it and asking her how she'd like her hair today-us playing hair salon. I am 5 years old. Then I cut to me getting off the kindergarten school bus on a cold winter's day. She-waiting right at the bus stop with a blanket to cover me in so I won't feel a bit of cold.
Me laying down on my bed at night and her telling me bedtime stories, about princesses and kings and dragons.
Me folding my arms together and her whispering into my 5 year old ears the words to a prayer.

      {Kindergarten Graduation - Mexico-My grandma's always in the background}

{at the circus with my grandpa Jim and grandma, that's me with the big ears}

I'm now 13 years old. A goofy, skinny looking kid with glasses. She asks me why I cry. I tell her I hate the way I look with glasses. She offers to get me contacts. She makes a phone call to my mother. They both agree to pitch in and buy me the (very expensive) contacts so I won't be teased (as much) anymore.

Me and her in a movie theatre with my little brother watching Rocky III eating popcorn and being thoroughly enthralled with Mr. T. :)

Me and her and my little brother again, playing a three day long game of Monopoly (our weekend ritual).

                {Grandma loving on her new great-granddaughter Ellison}
Me. Watching her being put under anesthesia for her radical mastectomy. I am the caregiver now. I am the one teaching her how to pray now.

Me. Watching her cry at her son's funeral-my father. Me. Trying to explain to her she'll see him again. She doesn't understand. Who's the mother and who's the child now, I ask myself?
                   {My Dad and I-1979 Padre Island, TX the only vacation we took}

Today. I hold her by her arm. She is cold. I drop her off at the front of the building where she'll get her lab work done. I tell her not to move. I'll be right back. I park the car and run so she doesn't think I've left her. She has entered the first stages of dementia. She doesn't remember all the things from my childhood.
 But I do.


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